What’s more important, leadership or execution?

Apple just announced it’s profits for the last quarter and they are higher than any other company has ever reported. Higher than the largest international banks. Higher than the most successful oil and gas companies. Higher than most country’s GDP.

When Steve Jobs died and Tim Cook took over, most thought that Apple was doomed. How would they fare without their charismatic leader? Well, I’d say they are doing just fine. Cook doesn’t have the flair for the dramatic that Jobs has. He doesn’t have the angry episodes that used to drive employees crazy. But what he does have is a fierce ability to get things done.

When you look at some of the most successful companies right now, or ones that have been turned around, it’s because the leader has an intense focus on execution. On getting the important things done and done well. On ensuring that employees know their role in achieving the best result. On measuring success in a disciplined way. On deliberately focusing on the organization’s strengths.

Is it possible that the best decision Steve Jobs ever made was hiring Tim Cook?

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – September 1, 2014
Too many organizations spend time and money working on strategy, and not enough on the execution and implementation of that strategy. They go on these wonderful strategy retreats where big ideas are discussed, but very few organizations come back with a clear cut plan on which of those ideas will be implemented and how.
 
Implementation is far more important than the development of the strategy. Implementation ability is what separates you from your competition. Your organization will derive a lot more value from the implementation of the ideas being discussed as opposed to just the development of the ideas themselves.
 
Here are some strategies for making implementation and execution more sustainable and successful: 
  • Involve key employees at various levels in the development of the strategy so that they take ownership of its implementation.
  • Have someone accountable for driving and accelerating the implementation of the strategy.
  • Develop clear success metrics for the implementation at all levels of the organization so that the direction is clear and aligned.
  • Spend time developing the appropriate implementation plan and anticipate adoption roadblocks so you can remove them or figure out ways to go around them.
  • Be willing to invest lots of time and money in the successful implementation so you can develop the required skills.
There are a lot of organizations that struggle with the implementation side and therefore look for outside help, and there is nothing wrong with that. I do lots of this type of work for my clients.
 
If you invested in having someone help develop the strategy, why wouldn’t you invest in having an expert come in and help you maximize results through the implementation?

To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336

Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – April 21, 2014
During the Jewish holiday of Passover, it is customary for many Jews to stop eating bread products during the eight-day holiday to remember the suffering of our ancestors as they left Egypt. What’s interesting is how each family decides what they will eat and what they won’t eat. Is rice permitted? What about matzo bagels? Or corn? It’s not about what you eat or don’t eat, it’s about deciding as a family and having the discipline to follow that diet for eight days.
 
Performance excellence for an organization is no different. Excellence means something different to each organization. The important step is defining that excellence for your organization, determining the right steps to follow in order to achieve it, and then having the discipline to follow those steps. I often help the companies I work with to improve their ability to execute on strategy, which starts with determining the future vision (defining what excellence means to you), creating the road map to get there, and having the discipline to follow that road map.
 
What’s causing your organization to pass over the discipline required to achieve excellence?
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.

Why can’t hotel check-in be like airline check-in?

A recent article in the Globe and Mail discussed how some hotel chains are beginning to use apps and kiosks to check guests in, so those guests can bypass the front desk.

Here are some musings on that idea:

  • Airlines are already doing this by allowing passengers to check-in online the day before their flight and use electronic boarding passes, so the technology already exists. The unknown factor is whether guests want to bypass the front desk.
  • Disney Hotels uses floating staff with iPads to check guests in, thus providing a person to speak with, but avoiding check in lines. They actually check you in while you are unloading your baggage so there is virtually no waiting from the time you arrive at the hotel to the time you have your key.
  • Hotels want to be careful about how hard they push this idea out to customers as checking in at the front desk provides them an opportunity to engage with their guests. If they lose that opportunity, they will need to find a different way of engaging. Maybe a quick phone call or visit 30 minutes after the guest arrives.
  • Offering a choice lets the guest decide, so it doesn’t mean removing the front desk altogether.
  • The online check-in or kiosk would seem to be attractive to business travelers or guests arriving late who just want to get to their room and don’t need the live interaction when they check-in.
  • Like any other technology option, success will be in how it is rolled out and executed, not the technology itself.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – January 13, 2014

We are constantly hearing about new ideas and new strategies to improve the way our organizations operate. We may hear something at an industry conference or read about it in a book. But we often don’t implement that idea effectively enough and this is usually because we don’t test the idea effectively enough to give it a chance for success.

 
Testing the idea doesn’t mean taking a long and arduous process to identify every single activity that is required. But it does mean taking a disciplined approach to making a decision whether the idea should be implemented. Here are five questions you should consider before implementing a new strategy within your organization:
  1. Does the strategy align with the direction that my organization is going?
  2. What impact would the strategy have for my organization?
  3. What do I need to do to achieve that impact?
  4. Does the organization have the capability to implement the strategy successfully?
  5. Who should be accountable for achieving that results?
These questions take you through a simple process to ensure that the new strategy aligns with your overall strategy, that there is a good reason for using organizational resources on the new strategy, and that the organization has the opportunity to actually achieve those results. Take a few minutes with your senior team and apply these questions to a new idea or strategy you would like to implement and see if they helps look at the strategy from all sides.
 

They should help to eliminate some ideas that may sound good, but would end up being a waste of valuable time and resources.

 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

A simple process for any initiative

For any initiative that you are embarking upon, here is a simple process to help make you successful:

  1. Identify the key stakeholders – those most impacted by the initiative.
  2. Engage those stakeholders and show them the value of the initiative – show them why it’s in their interests to support it. I call this the “What’s in it for me?” principle.
  3. Develop a plan for implementing the initiative – what tactics are required to make it happen and who will be accountable for success?
  4. Determine the right metrics for success – what will success looks like?
  5. Execute on the plan and review the success measures.

As you can see, the formula for implementing a new initiative is not that complicated. Are you using a process that is more complex than it needs to be?

Operational Excellence Minute – Finding Your Departmental Sweet Spot

podcast-sleeve1 

Andrew explains what the sweet spot in organizations is and what components need to be in place to achieve it.